Planting and repotting spider plants is simple. These plants require very little care and are quite undemanding as far as location is concerned.
Whilst there are several species of spider plant (Chlorophytum spec.), this article deals with the most common species, Chlorophytum comosum. There is not much you can do wrong when planting this spider plant variety. Read on for our top tips and simple instructions on planting and repotting spider plants correctly to ensure yours stays happy and healthy.
Planting spider plants: finding the right location
In the following, we explain which is the best soil spider plant and where is best to keep them.
What is the best soil for spider plants?
Chlorophytum comosum is not too fussy when it comes to substrate. Ideally, the soil pH value should be from 6 to 7. A soil mix containing coconut fibres and high-quality compost is well suited. Our peat-free Plantura Organic All Purpose Compost is a good choice. Its pH value is between 5 and 7 and it contains high-quality compost. This compost also retains water well and contains plenty of coconut dust which allows air to circulate the roots. This is great for spider plants, as these plants are somewhat thirsty but can also be susceptible to root rot. Other Chlorophytum species also need this kind of soil.
Tip: Chlorophytum comosum likes slightly clayey soil with good water storage capacity, so you can add in a little clay powder or loamy garden soil to the mix.
- Perfect for all your house, garden & balcony plants
- For strong & healthy plants as well as an active soil life
- Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition
Can spider plants be kept in water? In principle, it is possible to grow spider plants in hydroponics. But if you decide to do this, it is best to use this method right from the start, as a changeover is usually not well tolerated. Note that you will need special fertilisers for hydroponics.
Where to keep spider plants as houseplants
The ideal location for the spider plant is sunny to semi-shady, ideally without direct sun. Note that variegated varieties tend to revert (turn green) if they receive too little light. Keep humidity levels at 70 % or higher, as anything lower may cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown. Spider plants do well in both warmer and cooler environments. A temperature of around 20 °C is optimal, as this is when spider plants form most of their little spiderettes. The mother plant grows very well at temperatures between 14 to 18 °C. Temperatures below 10 °C will cause spider plants to stop growing. The species Chlorophytum orchidastrum and Chlorophytum viridescens have the same light requirements and temperature demands. If you have cats, place your Chlorophytum comosum somewhere that is not easily accessible for them. Whilst spider plants are not poisonous to pets (or humans), cats sometimes like to nibble on the foliage, which is not exactly beneficial for the plant in the long run. Consider putting your spider plant in a pretty macramé hanging basket. This allows the long leaves and flowers to hang down undisturbed.
Can you keep spider plants outside?
In summer, spider plants can be grown outside in partial shade without any problems. But as spider plants are not frost-hardy, you will need to move yours indoors when temperatures drop again. However, you can overwinter spider plants in a slightly cooler place at about 10 to 15 °C. Moving your spider plants to a cooler location in winter can promote more robust growth and sometimes prevent potential pest infestation.
How to plant spider plants
The best time to divide and pot spider plants obtained by division is in spring. Planting spider plant cuttings, the so-called spiderettes or pups, is possible all year round.
An 8cm pot will suffice for the pups at first. Ensure the pot has drainage holes that allow excess water to run off. Add a first layer of soil to the bottom of the pot, and then place the plant in the container so that the leaf bases are in line with the top of the pot. Be careful not to break off the roots if the young plant already has some. Now fill the rest of the pot with soil, spreading it around the plant. Lightly tap the pot onto a surface and press the soil down a little to close up any remaining cavities. Then add a little more soil and finally water the plant.
Tip: As the spiderette’s roots are not yet fully developed, it is a good idea to wait until the pups have established themselves before separating them from the mother plant.
Repotting spider plants
Repotting spider plants is only necessary when the roots have become very visible, and the plant is pushing itself up out of the pot. If you plan on splitting your spider plant at the same time, it is best to repot in spring. Avoid repotting spider plants in winter. The new pot should only be about two finger widths larger than the previous one. When repotting, leave the old soil between the roots. Only fill the space between the root ball and the new pot with fresh soil. The process is otherwise the same as described above.
Tip: You may feel like giving your spider plant significantly more space in a larger pot, but it is best not to go up in size too quickly. One potted spider plant actually consists of many individual spider plants, which creates a nicer, bushy look. Remember that up to 120 plants can fit in 1m2.
Can you grow spider plants from seed?
Growing spider plants from seed is not worthwhile, as most flowers do not develop fully and therefore do not form spider plant seeds. Also, propagating spider plants from seed only works with the green-leaved wild form, which is not usually available for us to buy.
After planting, it all comes down to proper care. You can read all about spider plant care in our in-depth article.